- David Bentley
Lena Anderssen – Aimee (single from forthcoming album)
We’ve had a few Faroese artists lately and here’s another one although she is actually Faroese-Canadian. The Faroe Islands fascinates me; there is a great deal of music, of all genres, coming out of a population of only 50,000, the same as a typical small English market town, from the sophistication of Eivør to the…well, whatever of LGBT punk band Joe and the Shitboys.
Even the names catch my attention. Eivør is a Pálsdóttir, the patronymic form, daughter of Pál as in Iceland, while Lena is an Anderssen, which seems more Swedish. Why the difference? But I digress.
‘Aimee’ is her new single, and from her sixth album, ‘State of the Land’ which is out on 19th March 2021 (Danish indie label Songcrafter Music). Just now I like precise dates like that, they suggest certainty and we need more of it. I get the impression from somewhere that Aimee is a popular name in French-speaking Canada.
She describes her music on her Facebook page as ‘Poetry Pop’. I don’t know quite what that means but there is a poetic feel to the lyrics I suppose.
The song starts off with the lines “Aimee’s looking out through the window/She’s waiting for the world to be safe again”. My immediate reaction was uh-uh, another Covid song, but as it progresses it appears to be telling the story of a free spirit, a young girl who has taken time out, possibly a student’s gap year, to “find herself” but dreads the responsibility of returning to ‘normal life’ and whether she has the confidence and ability to face it:
“The sky is wide but the streets are so narrow/And in her own head she can see/The consequence of being Aimee”. Then, “She’s standing on the edge of something better/ Still she feels the weight on her shoulder/ The sun is out/ But the winds are colder”. Thoughtful stuff and reflectively presented.
Musically, well, I have a sort of love-hate relationship with Americana. When it’s good I lap it up, when it’s bad I can’t get away fast enough. This is good, very good, right up in the Courtney Marie Andrews class. The song chugs away at quite a pace, there’s a good strong tune to it, it’s paced to help tell the story and her vocal is crystal clear with every word audible. It’s well produced and the little guitar break is just so and a delight.
Just the sort of thing I like to start work to on Monday mornings, playing in the background on the radio. Hopefully it will be. C’mon Ken.
The forthcoming album was the final one worked on by Geoff Emerick, the legendary Beatles producer (‘Revolver’,’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘Abbey Road’), in LA before he died.
The recording details are indicative of the global nature of the business. It was done at a North Hollywood studio and also at Studio 57 in the Faroe Islands. (Did I ever tell you I once managed to blag my way into legendary and style-obsessed Studio 54 in New York? But that’s another story),
Including Lena there are six musicians listed as playing on the song, including at least two whose names suggest they might be Faroese, and it includes a mandolin and Irish Bouzouki.
‘Aimee’ is out now.
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